Ice on the beach, but it could be worse

walton county ice

Tony Regina, who lives in Mossy Head, promised his 9-year-old daughter Marisa she’d see snow. As freezing rain fell on South Walton Tuesday night, he set his alarm to wake up every hour and check for falling flakes. At about 1 a.m., he fulfilled his promise. He and his wife Regina woke up their daughter, they turned on the outside lights and marveled at a true rarity in Florida. “We got quite a bit of ice, but also got a quarter inch of snow-fall on top of it,” he said.

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 06:04 PM.

Cars, decks, porches. Lanais, steps, bridges. All of it, covered with ice. Even — perhaps most astonishing of all — the beaches.

Schools, banks and stores were closed. The mail was not delivered. ATMs were frozen over.

Wednesday was definitely a day unlike any other in South Walton.

"It's a chicken, greens and cornbread kind of day," said Point Washington resident Debbie Weant, who, like most locals, took the Sheriff's Office advice to take the day off and cook comfort food, watch movies, catch up on chores or get started on those taxes.

Kathy Fly-Bridges opted for the chocolate-chip cookie route as others worked from home, cleaned closets and knitted.

The bounty of ice was a first for some South Waltoners, but for natives and old timers, it was not.

Seaside founder Robert Davis recalls the first Seaside Prize ceremony in April 1983, where all were amazed to see spring snow at the beach. He said Vincent Scully, one of the recipients, was Yale's Sterling Professor of Art and Architecture, so he was accustomed to snow in New Haven but a bit surprised by its appearance during his imagined escape from winter weather to sunny Florida.

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